Men’s Tennis Can’t Hold On at Santa Clara, Falls 4-3

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First Miami, then New York, now San Francisco. In another close and exciting WCC battle that saw the men’s tennis team take on the Santa Clara Broncos at Santa Clara, the Dons 14-match long streak in doubles points victories was snapped. Adding insult to injury, the Santa Clara Broncos were able to eke out a victory in a match that saw momentum swing several times, and which came down to the very last match.

Setting the pace early in the doubles matches, Santa Clara’s John Lamble and Ilya Osintsev were able to break Bernardo Saraiva and Nils Skajaa’s five game match streak and defeat them 8-3 in the initial doubles match, pushing them to 15-3 in that category. At No. 2, the tandem of Santa Clara’s Matt Kecki and Tom Pham overpowered USF’s Thai Tu and Germain Bahri, winning 8-6 and wrapping up the doubles point for Santa Clara. In a cruel reversal of fortunes, the Broncos saw their five game doubles streak snap, while the Dons bid adieu to their 14 match win streak.

Finding themselves in a hole, the Dons slowly crept out with Bernardo Saraiva’s 6-3, 6-1 defeat of Ilya Osintsev, Germain Bahri’s 6-2, 3-6, 6-3 defeat of Eugene Muchynski and William Schumacher’s 6-4, 7-6 defeat of Tomasz Soltyka. The Dons were able to rally behind these singles victory and eventually evened the series at 3-3.  Saraiva’s straight set victory over Ilya Osintsev pushed his record to 14-2 in dual matches and helped set the tone for a much needed rally cry.

Coming down to the No. 3 singles match between USF’s Nils Skajaa and SCU’s Matt Kecki, the Broncos were able to hold on to the 4-3 final as Kecki defeat Skajaa 7-5, 4-6, and 6-4. Despite the loss to the No. 64 Broncos, the 10-7 Dons will have a chance to close the gap in the WCC race as they host the Portland Pilots and the Gonzaga Bulldogs at the Olympic Club on April 19 and 20.

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